No playground blow-out, says council


Tamahere playground


The Tamahere Recreation Reserve and Piazza project has not had a cost blow-out, says the Waikato District Council.

The council has been moved to counter a media report that the budget for Tamahere Park has blown its budget with a $1.6m cost that was around four times the original plan.

But the reported figures – dubbed “Monopoly money” by one councillor – are supplier quotes and cost estimates, not actual costs, the council said in a statement.

“What council staff are doing now is looking at ways that those supplier quotes and estimates can be brought down to meet the budget,” the council said.

Last year, the council asked the Tamahere community what facilities it wanted in the recreation reserve adjoining Tamahere School and the new commercial hub.

Locals indicated that they were willing to pay an additional targeted rate of $38 per year over 15 years for the following more and better play equipment for the playground, a higher spec fitness trail looping the reserve, a skatepark with more obstacles, a basketball half court, and staging and lighting in the piazza.

This meant that $500,000 was added to the budget to bring it to approximately $3.9 million.

That budget is in the council’s long term plan and because of the size of the project, is spread over a number of years.

The council said it had made a commitment to the community that it would get a high spec playground and skate park, so as an additional measure $250,000 of money budgeted in the 2019/20 year of the LTP had been brought forward to this year to help council staff address the high supplier quotes.

“The Tamahere Community Committee has done a great job in leading the engagement process with the community for this project,” said Deputy General Manager Service Delivery Roger MacCulloch in the statement.

“Through them, the community has told us what they want and we fully intend to deliver that. There’s no doubt that some supplier quotes have come in high compared to original cost estimates we received.
“We are working with our suppliers to deliver results within budget while being fully committed to providing the level of service that the Tamahere community has asked for.

“There are no cost blow outs and we are on track,” MacCulloch said.

  • Waikato District Council will be meeting with the Tamahere Community Committee in the coming weeks to update them on progress with the project.

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